Hello! It's been forever since I posted on here. Sorry, the sunshine has been calling my name! For a general update, were getting closer to finishing the kitchen and will probably be moving back within six weeks. Although that seems far away, it's been ongoing since January so i'll take what I can get at this point. Other news, I accepted a parttime job as a sponsored content creator with Narcity! Keep an eye out for my first article. Enjoy my clicks of the week!
Well, Summer has officially begun! This weekend started with a delicious meal at Buca (you need to try their pomodoro e tartufo pizza) and the remainder of time was filled with condo renovation activities, swimming in the pool and cooking with fresh ingredients. Have a wonderful week friends!
Life has been crazy the past couple months with work and our home renovations (blog post to come). In an attempt to not go crazy looking at hundreds of faucet options, I've been focusing on things that put a smile on my face. It's amazing the difference the below have made:
MOST COMFORTABLE PAJAMAS
These are the most comfortable pajamas I own. That's no joke - no one likes pajamas more than I do. I ordered these a long time ago and they finally arrived this past week. Yes, they are oh so cute, but I have to say I am happily surprised with the fabric quality and softness. They also come with a very adorable garment bag for traveling. Thank you, Jillian Harris!
MY GRADUATION DRESSES, REVAMPED
I'm sure most prom dresses either get donated or collect dust after the big day. Both my grade eight graduation and high school prom dresses were taking up valuable closet real estate so I finally got motivated enough to do something about it. I brought them to Lucy's Dressmaking in Oakville to get them shortened and added a sweetheart neckline. My next step is to re-dye them (after photos to be shown after this step!).
Anyone that knows me well knows my love for anything pickled. I recently found Bubbies at Whole Foods. While the price is a bit steep, I promise they will change your life. Instant addiction upon opening.
This pen originally caught my eye when I was having an one-on-one with my previous manager. For some reason, I was just instantly drawn to her pen and decided to buy one when I got my new job back in December. It writes so well and the refills are only one dollar. Its makes me feel a little more girly in a corporate world.
LULULEMON'S ALIGN PANTS
I had some gift cards that were burning a hole in my pocket so I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and wander down Queen St. I don't remember the last time I bought anything from Lululemon because I've been finding Nike and Pink (by Victoria Secret) more affordable for workout clothes. However, my old pair of Lululemons were looking quite tired so I decided to go in. I tried on these align pants and it was like stepping into a whole new world. They seriously feel like a second skin and I have literally been living in them.
CHERRY BOMBE MAGAZINE
I've probably mentioned my interest in this magazine in previous posts. However, this magazine is life-changing. I've been searching for a food magazine that is both stylish and creative. I love the articles and it's a great read for anyone that loves food and pop culture. For example, they feature icons like Karlie Kloss, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Dunham on the cover. I purchase it at the Good Egg in Kensington Market (the Toronto destination for cookbooks). I've managed to score all of the issues and nothing makes me happier than seeing the entire collection on my bookshelf.
It took a serious renovation for us to discover this delicious Thai restaurant. A couple weeks back while we were on the last stages of packing up our condo, we decided to try Nana. We couldn't believe how amazing it was and how much we craved it afterwards. I enjoyed it more than the other popular Thai spots in the city. We ended up getting takeout twice in the same week from here. My favourites included the spring rolls, pad prik king with chicken and pad thai.
I know that it's pretty unusual to put this on my list but it's brought me so much happiness lately I couldn't leave it out. Training in a corporate environment can be tough so I've really been able to rely on A Dash of Tash to get my creative juices flowing. Recently, I've been networking with more bloggers across North America and signed up for Blog Podium and TSOS Chapel Hill in the fall. I can't wait to see what this passion of mine brings over the course of the year. Thank you for those who read A Dash of Tash!
I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent the majority of mine driving across Ontario (literally) to pickup our kitchen appliances. Needless to say, I'm happy we have them and that's behind us now! I was able to pour myself a large glass of wine and relax on Sunday evening. I hope you have a fabulous week leading up to a long weekend!
Adorable DIY Champagne Flutes
Wine Words to Stop Using
Wanderlust: A Holiday in Tanzania
Bizarre Eating Habits of the Worlds Billionaires
Why Bone Broth is Good for You
6 Reasons Exercise is Good for your Mental Health
Why the "Worst" Job You've Ever Had Can Be The Best Thing For You
Bachelorette Jojo Fletcher's Front-Runners
9 Bizarre Things to Buy on Etsy
Love this Antler Pendant
We're getting closer to the first long weekend of "summer". I always tend to reflect back on what I was doing a year ago. Last year, I was about to celebrate my sister's bachelorette weekend. It's crazy to think how fast time flies by but sometimes feels slow in the present moment. Make a summer checklist to ensure your free time is maximized to the fullest. You can jot down small things like having a summer barbecue to planning a couple long weekend getaways.
This Made my Week
Guide to Ontario's Best Ice Cream Shoppes
Half of your Friends Probably Don't Think of you as a Friend
50 Unpredictable Places to Visit in your Twenties
Visit One of My Favourite Ontario Vineyards this Summer
Career Advice for Successful Friends
Netflix Keeps Unhappy Couples Together
Inside Ashley Olsen's NYC Condo
What to Make With One of My Favourite Spices
Healthy Appetizer Idea
Going to Explore This Small Ontario Village This Summer
How exactly do you find the perfect gift to the woman you owe everything to? I find myself at a crossroads because my mum has everything and I also want to give her everything. I've brainstormed some unique gift ideas that hopefully will inspire you.
FOR THE MUM WHO NEEDS AN HOUR TO HERSELF
Monogrammed Pajama Set & Latest Heather's Pick. This is the perfect gift for the mum that likes to sneak away to relax after a long day. Buy her something warm that will make her feel nice and cozy inside.
FOR THE MUM WHO WANTS TO UNWIND
A Day at the Spa! I recommend The Pillar and Post, St. Anne's Spa or Body Blitz. Purchase a package for the mum that needs a break and some quality time with her favourite kid. Research the best restaurant to treat her to lunch before your treatment.
FOR THE SENTIMENTAL MUM
Custom Photo Album or a unique piece of jewelry. It's so easy to whip up a beautifully bounded photo album of memorable photos. The outcome will be guaranteed happy tears and makes for a beautiful coffee table book. Otherwise, find a local jeweler that your mom adores and surprise her.
FOR THE ADVENTURE SEEKER MUM
CN Tower edgewalk, indoor skydiving or long bike ride to a fun destination. Toronto offers so many great experiences for any thrill seeking mum. These adventures will make for a great memory that you can reflect back on for years to come.
FOR THE OUTDOORSY MUM
Picnic and hike the Bruce Trail or kayak to the Toronto Islands. Why not grab all of your mum's favourite foods and pack them up for a fun hike. Surprise her with renting kayaks and head to the Toronto Islands for the day. Book lunch at the Rectory Cafe to fuel up before the paddle back.
FOR THE FOODIE MUM
Did you know that Anthony Bourdain is coming to Toronto? What a great way to treat your foodie mum! Or head to your local farmers market and whip up a delicious meal together.
FOR THE ARTSY MUM
Book a painting class together to bring out some creativity. Maybe there is a local artist near the cottage that you can contact to paint a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Another option is heading to the abundance of museums that the city has to offer.
FOR THE MUSICAL MUM
FOR THE LOW-KEY MUM
Buy some tickets to see Mother's Day at your local movie theatre. When you return from your relaxing mother-daughter date, treat her to a favourite home cooked meal. Nothing says I love you like spending quality time with your gal!
Is it Monday already? I'm feeling accomplished after we emptied out the condo. Our current hardwood floors are being ripped out starting today!
As busy as this weekend was, I snuck out on Sunday morning for a blogging event. Avocados of Mexico teamed up with The Healthy Maven for a morning of yoga and brunch. It was such a lovely way to meet other bloggers in the city!
Have a great first week of May!
These Classic Movies Are Turning 20 Years Old
This Toronto Restaurant is Trending on Social Media
Perfect Summer Read
Great Resource for High Park's Cherry Blossoms
Summer Camp for Adults
Most Expensive Apartment in New York City
Favourite Room Spray
Must-Read for Any Twenty-Something
Stay in the Dirty Dancing Cabins
Over the past couple years, more and more friends have been purchasing their first home or signing a lease for somewhere new. Now that we're "grown up", our homes aren't treated like they used to be. We've started to ditch the University junk in favour of investing in decor or furniture that's not from the side of the street.
As much as I love wine, I think it's fun to bring something a little different over as a housewarming gesture. Put some thought into your selection and pick something that suits their taste and personality. The gifts I've listed below are a little more unique and unexpected:
A BOOK WITH A PERSONAL MESSAGE
Gifting one of your favourite cookbooks to a close friend is such a thoughtful gift. I enjoy personalizing this gift by writing a sweet little message inside the cover. My favourite cookbooks to give include: brown eggs and jam jars, mastering the art of french cooking, plenty and the barefoot contessa. I like these cookbooks in particular because there is always a handful of recipes that fits any kind of diet/food restriction.
PREPARED FRESH FLOWERS
I love finding a vase that compliments their taste and filling it up with gorgeous flowers. It's nice to bring over a vase already prepared so your friend doesn't need to cut flower stems and clean up as everyone arrives.
Custom artwork! I discovered Niki Kingsmill's masterpieces while scrolling through Instagram. I think one of her pieces would make an amazing housewarming gift. I love the details and think they would be so lovely framed. Why not support a local Canadian artist and surprise your friend with one of these beauties? I've showcased some of my favourites above, but check out her website here for more pieces.
BEAUTIFUL ARTISAN CHEESE BOARD
I love the idea of going the custom route to celebrate a special event like purchasing a first home. Order a custom cheeseboard with a word or saying you find fitting. Pair it with some cheese knives and your friends will be set for their next party! You can order custom boards here.
Wowzers, what a productive weekend!
Saturday was the most ideal day off. My girlfriends and I started the day at the St. Lawrence Market for a Spring preserves cooking class. Our day continued with lunch at Wilbur, followed by signature pedicures (with prosecco) at Her Majesty's Pleasure.
Yesterday, we made big progress on our condo renovations. We've moved out a lot of our stuff, ripped out all of the baseboards, patched the drywall and removed a number of kitchen cabinets. However, I'm now thinking I need to spruce up my handy lady outfit with a pair of overalls? Stay tuned for a big renovation post.
While taking a break to watch an episode of Fixer Upper (one my favourite shows...I love Chip & Jo!), I caught up with the cyber world and thought you'd enjoy the links below:
Mother's Day Lemon Bar Recipes
DIY Marble and Gold Accent Table
10 Hotels to Act Out Your Favourite Movie
Healthy BBQ Idea: Salmon Kabobs
Ideal Man For You Based on Your Zodiac Sign
French Girls Guide to Entertaining
Amazing Soaps to Impress Your Guests
10 Best B&Bs in Ontario
Best Pitcher Drinks for Summer
This week ended better than it started. With my sickness almost behind me and our condo renovations now booked, things are looking up! Not to mention, it's now beautiful outside which makes me so excited for summer weekends!
Side note: I'm looking for some people to participate in an upcoming blog post. Do you love food, trying new recipes or flipping through cookbooks? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Healthy(ier) Ice Cream Sandwiches
Inside a Dream Job
Best Celebrity Coachella Insta Accounts
Latest Book for Bookclub
Can't Wait to Make this Refreshing Salad
Upcoming Movies for Summer 2016
Best Toronto Hotel Pools
Top 10 Fruits & Veggies for Weight Loss
One of My Favourite Rosé Wines
10 Most Famous Wedding Venues in the World
What a lovely weekend! Here are the links I enjoyed this week. Stay warm, friends!
6 Things That Should Never Be on Your Grocery List
Ideal Home According to Pinterest
One of my Favourite Speeches
Loving This Tumblr Page
Julia Child's Former Home is Now Available on AirBnB
Addicted to This Simple Salad
Morning Routines Around the World
This Video is Funny but Sad
Q&A with a Celebrity Event Planner
21 Things All Foodies Need to Eat Before They Die
How's that beach bod coming along? I don't know about you, but I'm finding 2016 busy and complicated - making healthy choices difficult. It takes a lot of discipline, planning and a little bit of willpower to get the results you want. I chatted with five inspirational women who make healthy living a priority and share their different perspectives on the topic. Even though these are their proven tips; what works for one woman, might not work for another. I hope you find something for you in their stories below. Now, dust off those sneakers!
1. Meet, Sarah
Occupation: Social & Self-Help Customer Experience Manager
Describe what you generally eat throughout the day: I follow a ‘flexible dieting’ program, although, I don’t really like to use the word diet because its really not. I usually just say that I count my macros. Its definitely a lifestyle designed to fit into anyone’s busy schedule. When I adopted this lifestyle, I was able to lose 25 pounds while increasing my strength and performance at the gym. You could technically eat junk food as long as the macros fit in your numbers. In saying that, eating high volume foods like veggies, fruit and lean meats will keep you fuller for longer, and will probably make you feel a lot better!
The point of flexible dieting is to ensure that an individual has the right ratio of carbs, fats and protein in their diet to reach their goals – losing weight, increasing strength, gaining weight, changing body composition, etc. On the flexible dieting program, I strive to meet a certain number of macronutrients within a full day based on different factors: height, weight, body fat percentage, activity level, job type, etc. It takes a lot of planning and MyFitnessPal is my best friend, but I love it! – Mostly because I get to eat A LOT.
Typical Sample Weekday Comprises of:
Breakfast: Protein pancakes.
Lunch: A protein like pulled chicken with mashed butternut squash, broccoli and edamame.
Dinner: Always something different but my favourites include: meatloaf with zucchini noodles and tomato sauce, homemade flatbread, or spinach salad topped with delicious ingredients (This gets so big that I have to eat it out of my biggest mixing bowl – YUM!).
Snacks: I snack a lot throughout the day and love to have a sweet treat after dinner. So I get creative with my food choices to make it all work. These are my snacks from yesterday: Lots of fresh fruit, sugar snap peas, jello, greek yogurt with PB2, Popcorner's Mango Salsa Pop Chips (swoon), rice cakes, oatmeal (pre-workout) and blue menu strawberry banana frozen yogurt.
How often do you workout each week and what do your workouts involve? I workout 5 days a week and follow a strength program called The Barbell WOD. The program focuses on Olympic lifts and other accessory movements/drills that promote an overall increase in strength and muscle balance. I also compliment this program with CrossFit style met cons/WODs to get that cardio in and keep my endurance up. I have a few workout buddies at my gym and we like to come up with new workouts everyday, which definitely keeps things interesting!
Biggest tip to get fit and stay healthy? Find something or someone that will keep you accountable and set goals! Motivation is key and looking forward to something is a great way to stay on track. Get outside of your comfort zone and eat all the carbs!!
2. Meet, Maddie
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Describe what you generally eat throughout the day: I never used to be a breakfast person, but in the last year or so I have started to focus on eating when I wake up. My breakfast is usually the same: two eggs, a couple slices of turkey bacon and half an avocado. Side note: I am obsessed with cooking with coconut oil. Not only for the health benefits, but I also love the little hint of flavour it adds to my food!
Lunch and dinner usually consist of a salad (spinach and kale) and always some sort of protein. Chicken or steak are my go-to picks. I will add tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and goat cheese to my salads to make them less bland. I am also big on quinoa and quinoa pasta and will mix them with ground turkey/chicken/beef in a plain tomato sauce. I tend to stay away from gluten, I am not allergic, but I do find my body feels better when I eat gluten free.
Some healthy snacks I tend to eat are: an apple with Earth Balance coconut and peanut spread. (This stuff is amazing! Especially coming from someone who hates regular peanut butter!). Skinny Quinoa Sticks are basically a healthier chip option made with quinoa and chia seeds and come in different flavours. My favourite is the Ancient Grain Sweet Onion. Lastly, protein shakes - combine water, ice, lots of spinach, unsweetened coconut milk, half an avocado, banana and protein powder!
How often do you workout each week and what do your workouts involve? I workout 5-6 times a week. My workouts usually consist of circuit training with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in between each circuit. Most commonly, skipping. My circuits include free weights, medicine balls, battle ropes, sled pushes, bosu balls, exercise balls and TRX. I try and focus on quick reps with little rest between each exercise. An example of a typical workout format would be as follows: 3 circuits, 4 exercises, 10 minutes/circuit +3 minutes skipping in between each circuit = 42 minutes. Core is my favourite part of the body to work out so you will almost always find me doing some sort of 10 minute ab workout to finish off my workout.
I am not a big cardio person, so you will never find me on an elliptical or stairmaster. I do enjoy running outside as I tend to run a couple half marathons and 15K races a year. But, running is more of a personal preference for me to get outside and catch some fresh air, not so much a part of my workout regime.
Biggest tip to get fit and stay healthy? Biggest tip: Eat right! I have always been into working out and eating healthy, however I noticed the biggest transformation in my body when I really paid attention to the fat and sugar content in the foods I was eating. I try and stay away from foods with high sugar, even eating lots of fruits, as they are high in sugar. I focus on eating organic food whenever possible, and if I need to snack I will try and make it high in protein or healthy fats (such as coconut oil peanut butter or almonds) as these will fuel the body and fill you up so you don’t have to keep snacking! Do not make extreme dietary restrictions such as no chocolate, no treats, no carbs etc. Not only is it very impractical and will not keep the weight off, it also will make you miserable. Make choices for a healthy lifestyle that are manageable!
Make your workouts short and sweet! You do not need to be in the gym for hours at a time. If you are running short on time, doing a quick 15-20 minute workout is better than nothing! Create a circuit of 2 or 3 exercises and do as many rounds as you can in the 15-20 minutes you have. Find a friend or community! Having people to uplift you, encourage you and keep you accountable will not only make you work harder, but will make working out way more fun. It also makes working out less intimidating if you are just starting out and not really sure what to do.
Get fit with Maddie on Saturday mornings from 9:30-10:30am. MADDNESS is located at the Ontario Hockey Corporation (1090 Aerowood Dr. - which is 401&Dixie). Bonus: it only costs $10 to start your weekend right!
3. Meet, Jess
Occupation: Childcare Cook
Describe what you generally eat throughout the day: I eat gluten and dairy free. I do not have any allergies, but I just feel better when I cut them out of my diet. I am a creature of habit and eat the same stuff A LOT. I keep it simple! I am currently following the 21 day fix/hammer and chisel diet plan. We use colour coordinated containers that you put your food in!
Blue: healthy fats
Orange: seed and dressings
Breakfast: 1 cup of gluten free rolled oats with wow butter (cooked with water) & coffee (sweetened with natural maple syrup and I use unsweetened coconut milk).
Morning snack: 1 cup of some kind of fruit (grapes, melon, etc).
Lunch: Ground turkey or chicken with sliced cucumbers.
Afternoon snack: 1 cup of pineapples.
After workout: Protein shake which includes: 1 scoop vega one, 2 cups water, handful of ice and one cup of frozen mixed berries.
Dinner: I eat something different everyday for dinner. I keep it simple with lean proteins and vegetables. I love salad so I eat that a lot! My salads normally contain: romaine, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, peppers and red onion.
How often do you workout each week and what do your workouts involve? I workout six days a week. I am currently following a program through Beachbody called hammer and chisel. Previously I completed two rounds of the 21 day fix and one round of the 21 day fix extreme.
Biggest tip to get fit and stay healthy? Be organized and plan. Write down what you are eating. Make a meal plan chart or template and fill it out on Sundays for the week. Keep meals simple and do not be afraid to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday. It cuts down on costs, you can cook ahead of time, which makes your life easier during the week. It also keeps you on track, which will make it less likely that you go out for lunch or stop at a fast food place on the way home. I also love to post on social media. Yes, it can be a bit much sometimes but it's great accountability for you!
4. Meet, Olivia
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Describe what you generally eat throughout the day: My nutrition plan doesn't subscribe to one particular method or theory, I enjoy eating so I focus on quality. Every meal needs to include some green veggies and protein. During the day I eat good fats with my breakfast and lunch, at night I eat a whole carb with my dinner.
I try to make sure that all the food I buy is organic, but where I have noticed the biggest difference is in the quality of the meat I buy. Free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic free, hormone free meat has helped clear up my skin and make me feel energized again. Making that change alone helped me feel healthier!
My biggest nutrition tip is that you can truly out-eat any workout. Bad eating habits run deep and it takes a lot of work to correct them, but it is worth it!
How often do you workout each week and what do your workouts involve? I workout 3-6 days a week depending on what I'm doing. I do a lot of resistance training with weights, 3-5 days a week, that's the core of my workouts. Using weights are so good for women because it helps with everything from bone density to regulating hormones. There is so much you can change about a workout; weight, tempo, implement, exercise and focus areas. Lifting heavy makes your body tight and lean, ladies, don't be afraid of strength training!
I go for a long walk once a week to make sure I am getting outside and letting my mind wander, that helps me de-stress. I also do a variety of other things for fun; animal flow, yoga, spin class, online dance classes, etc. These extra activities keep fitness fun for me.
Biggest tip to get fit and stay healthy? Be consistent in your efforts and keep your workouts varied. Consistency is the key to success, I can't stress this enough. It's important to work on your nutrition, workouts, and sleep - simultaneously and consistently.
Look to a professional to help you get started. 1-on-1 personal training isn't the right fit for everyone, I get that, just find a group with an educated leader so you can get some coaching. This will keep you injury-free and the accountability will help keep you consistent!
5. Meet, Lauren
Occupation: Fitness Coordinator and Trainer
Describe what you generally eat throughout the day: I’m that person who is constantly hungry throughout the day, so for me, it’s making sure I have food with enough nutrient value to keep my hunger under control. As long as you have some staple items in your fridge for the week, eating clean can be done!
Breakfast is my favourite meal and also an important one to get me set up for the day. It will always include eggs alongside a mix of chia seeds, oats, Kefir, frozen fruit, psyllium husk, plus a few other items.
Usually my snacks include nuts and maybe some vegetables or fruits. I sometimes make my own energy bars as well.
Lunch and dinner is a mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, along with some healthy fat, like avocado. I’m not one of those people who fears carbs, as my body needs them for my workouts.
How often do you workout each week and what do your workouts involve? I typically exercise 5 days a week and each workout varies a little bit. I do try to tap into the different energy systems. I particularly love HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because it’s fast, efficient and challenging, but becomes equally as addictive. I usually do HIIT workouts twice a week tapping into my anaerobic system. For my HIIT workouts, I’ll program 4-5 exercises and try to complete them as many times as possible, usually with a 15 – 18 minute time cap. I’ll rest and then usually complete another HIIT style workout. Gone are the days where we need to spend an hour plus at the gym. HIIT has proven just as effective as an hour long workout that can be done in less than 30 minutes. I definitely see the trend staying here for a while!
I’ll also do one day of pure strength. I always love seeing my progress here. Typically my ‘lift’ day includes some sort of push, a pull, a quad exercise and a hip dominant move of sorts. Lastly, I’m a runner at heart and a spin instructor, so I use these days to get my heart rate up and unwind mentally.
Biggest tip to get fit and stay healthy? Firstly, I think you need to know yourself. Just because one thing works well for one person, like following a paleo diet, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. You may not have the patience or commitment to follow some of the programs out there. Because our eating habits have a big influence on our body composition and how we feel, I tell my clients to plan ahead. Take two hours on Sunday afternoon to prep your meals for the week. Wash all your veggies, cook your meat, and make sure everything is ready to go. Time is often a huge hindrance when it comes to eating clean. Having things readily available after work or after the gym really helps keep people on track!
This week flew by! With renovation planning, starting to study again and trying to squeeze in some workouts, I was thankful for a quiet Sunday evening at home. Nothing better than enjoying a special glass of wine from our trip out west last September. Here are the links that I wanted to share with you:
How to Eat Healthy on Vacation
20 Cutest Cafes in Toronto
Top Trending Images on Pinterest Right Now
Indoor Herb Garden Ideas for a No-balcony Condo
Wedding Guest Do and Don'ts for this Upcoming Wedding Season
7 Dos and Don'ts of Moving in Together
Erin Ireland's Favourite Recipes
Dream Spring Handbag
A Week in NYC on a $42,000 Salary
Kayla Itsines Favourite Banana Muffin Recipe
Last weekend, I finally got around to organizing my closet. I was getting tired of wearing the same pieces and brushing over the remaining sad rejects. As much as I wanted to buy a new wardrobe, I figured I should start by cleaning and sorting the mess first. Here are my top five tips to help love your closet again.
Trade, Sell and Donate Clothing
The first step was to throw all of the clothing pieces, shoes and accessories I was questioning or haven't worn in a year or more on our bed. From there, I tried items on to see what I could salvage. Items I no longer like I have been swapping on Bunz trading zone. I managed to trade shorts, dresses and shirts for gift cards and TTC tokens. The leftover pieces are being donated.
I've never invested in alterations, but there were so many pieces in my closet that would be sinful to just throw out. Over the long weekend, I took about 10 pieces of clothing (including my prom dress, suits and grade eight graduation dress) to get altered here. I'm so excited about the possibility of not buying any dresses for upcoming summer weddings and having all my retro flared dress pants made into skinny pants!
Organized by Colour
Life has become super simple now that my closet has some sort of order. It has also helped me get a sense of which colours dominate my closet (i.e. I don't need any more black dresses!).
I can't count the number of times I jumped to get a pair of jeans and everything else came crashing down on me. I have organized everything on new wooden hangers and folded the jeans and sweaters I wear in my dresser. Instead of keeping my collection of shoes jumbled in a big container, I invested in a shoe rack and now I can actually see and find matching pairs of shoes.
Making it Pretty
I enjoy opening my closet door now that my purses are neatly on display and I can see the organized colours popping out at me. The biggest game changer was getting rid of all my cheap dry cleaning hangers and investing in these. Now everything is placed on the same hanger and it looks a lot less cluttered!
After a long relaxing weekend, the hustle and bustle has started again. Between breaks of consuming lots of good wine and food, I had a chance to enjoy the links below. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!
Minted's dreamy office tour
Healthy and refreshing smoothie recipe for spring
Easy DIY heart artwork
Truth about sleeping with wet hair
How female leaders start their workday mornings
Why 20-somethings are obsessed with the show Friends
Got this cookbook and I'm officially obsessed
15 important lessons Rory Gilmore taught us
Skincare advice for women in their 20s
57 celebrities to follow on Snapchat
The One of a Kind Spring show was the perfect activity for a rainy Wednesday night. I find the spring show way less chaotic than the Christmas show. There was more than enough room at each of the booths to check out the goods and speak with the creators themselves. The One of a Kind Spring show runs from March 23-27th. So, grab a buddy and tell me what you think in the comment section below after you go! I've listed my favourite artisans below:
A modern take on the owner's great-grandma's recipe, this delicious thirst quenching lemonade is available in three flavours. We picked up a bottle of the Lemo Sour and I can't wait to incorporate it into a fancy campari and gin cocktail - they even provided recipe cards.
Using only the finest ingredients, these beautifully wrapped mini brownies are the perfect gift for a colleague or a housewarming present. The brownies are made with premium Belgian chocolate and pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla.
I pretty much freak out whenever I see pickles so this vendor had it made when I walked by. This west coast, family run business specializes in quality pickled vegetables by growing and making everything in house. We sampled a number of options and they all delivered on taste. We took home a jar of the spicy vegetable medley and carrots. They'll make the perfect addition to any charcuterie board!
These adorable bookmarks caught my eye at the Etsy section. I never use bookmarks, however, I seriously contemplated changing my ways when I saw how cute they are. They have bookmarks to fit any personality - perfect for your current read!
Clever and pretty notebooks...oh my! A few girls were flipping out at this booth due to the level of cuteness. The prints would look amazing as wall art in an office or on a bedside table.
I told Cam that I wouldn't be buying any greeting cards this time around. Of course I broke that promise as soon as I saw this vendor. The Penny Paper Co is by far my favourite greeting card artisan at the show. I'm the biggest fan of the designs on the mini cards, postcards and wrapping paper. I picked these cuties up...I'm a sucker for anything pineapple related!
I'm obsessed with the glacial detox facial mask. The scent is like walking into a luxury spa. This mask works to clean out your pores while providing a rich source of vitamin B12, vitamin A and an overall deep cleansing experience.
Wood transferred photography that would look outstanding in anyone's home. I love the coastline, beach and hockey pieces the best. This is my favourite from his collection.
Spring is one of the most exciting times of the year. Everything is alive again (including me) and there is nothing sweeter than coming home from work in the daylight! Summer is around the corner, which gives us hope for patio season, spending the days outside and trying new things. I always make a summer checklist, but this year, I've decided to kick thing off early with a spring one.
Host a brunch with our friends
Grab some popcorn and head to TIFF for the food on film series
Go to high park to witness the cherry tree blooms
Venture on a roadtrip to visit the "prettiest town in Canada"
Experience the Etsy section at the One of a Kind Spring Show
Cook up a storm here. I signed up for the Spring Preserves & Fresh Pasta classes
Clean our condo and make trades to get rid of things here!
Whip up my favourite lemonade with fresh ingredients from the market
Start planning my summer trip to Calgary
Find the perfect bathing suit for summer
Update and organize my recipe box
Buy an off-the-shoulder shirt like this one
Head to one of these establishments
Last week was a busy one. We met with several contractors for our condo renovations and also tried two new restaurants (Luckee and Jump). While sipping my coffee before rushing off to work I was able to enjoy the links below. Enjoy and happy short week!
Finding your passion
Key information before ordering wine
Tips on giving a memorable toast
13 questions to ask about the latest Girls episode
Inside Jessica Biel's new restaurant
16 quirky jobs around the world
Men's thoughts on decor trends
The perfect spring heels
My condo renovation Pinterest board
AirBnB that celebrities are flocking to
Meet, Louise. Louise is my travel wife and someone that holds a very special place in my heart. She's the person that was with me every weekend while we lived in Switzerland. After not seeing her for years (we went to elementary school together), it was fate when we ended up moving to Switzerland in the same year and we reconnected right away. Fast forward, we've traveled to eleven countries together and tons of cities within. Lou and I have been in crazy situations in Europe and somehow we always managed to get through it; laughing hysterically. Sometimes it can be tough traveling with someone, but never with Louise - I was always ready to jump into the next adventure. Beyond our travels, this little lady is very talented in what seems like all aspects of life. Visit her website here and check out her video of us in Martha's Vineyard to see her skills in action. As wives with blogs, we thought it would be fun to share a quick Q&A with all of you.
All-time Favourite Olsen Twin Movie?
Lou: Ah, I love them all! If I had to choose, toss up between It Takes Two and Holiday in the Sun.
Tash: I loved Passport to Paris and Our Lips are Sealed! I still remember running to Blockbuster Video to buy new releases and making my whole family (including my dad) watch them with me!
What is your Favourite Indulgent Beauty Product?
Lou: When I worked in Fragrance, I got really interested in different scents so I like to splurge on a nice perfume every now and then. I’m currently into Nirvana White; it has peonies and musk (mix of feminine & masculine)! I also love this Charcoal Mud Mask by Origins. Dry Shampoo saves me many’a morning - I like the Batiste Full Body one.
Tash: For Fragrance, my favourite scent is Jo Malone's Blackberry and Bay. For everyday wear, I'm still a big fan of YSL's Young Sexy Lovely (which they discounted so I try to find it at random perfume stores). I am also really enjoying Lush bath bombs at the moment. My favourite one is the sakura scent.
Nude or bright nail polish?
Lou: I’m usually really bad at maintaining polished nails (I get antsy sitting through manicures haha) but when I need to put in a little extra effort, I’ll paint my own with Fiji by Essie … nudie! :)
Tash: Having chubby fingers I think they look better with a bright polish. I recently purchased this new polish from one of my favourite blogger's new collection at Sephora. If I feel like getting pampered, I always go to Mira's at Yonge and Bloor. Hands down, the best affordable nail salon in Toronto. You can't go wrong with a classic french too!
Go-to fancy coffee order?
Lou: Lately I’ve been going for the Americano’s..and if I’m feeling really fancy I’ll get a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (mostly because it’s fun to say)
Tash: I love a good London fog on a rainy day and a skim milk cappuccino to perk me up!
Favourite pizza topping?
Lou: Pesto + Goat Cheese on a thin crust!
Tash: Anything.... I would eat pizza everyday if I could!
Current celeb crush (male or female)?
Lou: Emma Watson; beauty, brains and brawn. I love Gigi Hadid’s easy style, she’s a babe. Hmm..David Bowie (R.I.P), those Hemsworth brothers are nice to look at, and Shakey Graves makes me swoon; witty and musically inclined.
Tash: Reese Witherspoon, Blake Lively and Emma Watson are all so intelligent, classy and obviously beautiful. I'm also a huge fan of Hugh Darcy, Paul Rudd and Ryan Reynolds...because I mean...
All time favourite chick flick?
Lou: YOU’VE GOT MAIL.
Tash: I LOVE chick flicks. Seriously, I'm all for the cheese factor. I love anything with Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts circa 1980s-2000s!
Three bucket list travel destinations?
Lou: Iceland, South America, Japan
Tash: California, New Zealand and Greece
Thing that you can never have enough of?
Tash: Productive weekends! Nothing feels better going to bed on a Sunday night feeling accomplished and ready to tackle another week!
Favourite 3 restaurants in the city?
If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you choose?
Lou: A cute cabin or treehouse in the middle of a forest to sip coffee and write in. Other: London, England or San Francisco
Tash: Napa Valley, London, Vancouver, Rome.... The list is endless.
Most memorable trip with the other person?
Lou: Our magical trip to the glass igloos in the Arctic Circle (Finland)! Portugal, Switzerland (Montreux, Crans Montana, Geneva etc.), that gorgeous AirBnB apartment in Paris! I CAN’T CHOOSE. Serious case of wanderlust now.
Tash: All those moments drinking vino and having life chats in different places. A few nights that stand out were when we brought blankets and music up to our hotel roofs in Istanbul and Germany. Another would be drinking wine into the wee hours in our cave hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Last concert you went to?
Lou: Shakey Graves at the Danforth in Toronto!
Tash: Shania Twain with my grandma for her 80th birthday!
Lou: It always seems impossible, until it is done.
Tash: If you're going through hell, keep going.
Favourite ice cream flavour?
Lou: Mint chip.
Tash: Anything with sprinkles!
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Lou: You write the way I want to think.
Tash: Can I have the recipe?
What is your biggest fear?
Lou: Complacency. There are so many adventures to go on and things to accomplish in this world. I don’t ever want to regret not doing something just because I was scared of unsettling the status quo.
Tash: Sharks! Ha ha.. just kidding. Working too hard at one thing only and not being able to accomplish all of my other personal goals.
What genre of music do you listen to?
Lou: Indie/folk, golden oldies, jazz (Miles Davis etc) while cooking. Eclectic mix.
Tash: Anything my grandma listens to! I love oldies. I am probably the only person who Googles music from movies/TV shows I like... I was always a big fan of the soundtrack section at HMV. It really ranges depending on my mood. Some days I'm all over Stevie Wonder and other times I'll be like yeah, turn up that Kygo song!
If you had time to pick-up one of the activities you used to do in childhood, what would it be?
Lou: Piano lessons. I miss them. Maybe I should make time for that again.
Tash: I would go back to Camp Wenonah every summer if I could. Nothing more relaxing and stress relieving...
Who or what inspires you?
Lou: I don’t think there’s just one thing. I take inspiration from the weirdest and simplest of things. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say my family. The relationships my parents have inspire me to never settle for anything less than that. The relationships they have with my sisters and I inspires me to be a great parent someday. The relationships I have with my sisters inspires me to be confident (even when I’m not), creative and to take chances. They support me (and vice-versa) no matter what.
Tash: My family definitely inspires me. They've taught me to work hard for what I want and never settle. I also love reading about influencers who may not have taken a traditional path to rise to their success.
Standard drink you order when you’re in an airplane:
Lou: Tea or a baby bottle of red wine if I’m flying Porter :)
Tash: I never just ask for one...I'm that person. Red wine or tomato juice (depending on what's included) and a water to stay hydrated.
Three things that are always in your purse:
Lou: Kate Spade Agenda (can’t live without it), a book (always comes in handy), a million pens from my Dad.
Favourite thing about the other person?
Lou: That the depths of her kind, generous soul know no bounds. Also, her cooking/organization/interior design skills blow me away.
Tash: She's literally the most thoughtful person. She always goes above and beyond for any visitor or a significant moment in a loved one's life. She is also very intelligent - we can be talking about anything and she will be able to contribute value (and her quick wit) to the conversation. Louise also writes the sweetest handwritten cards.
From enjoying some delicious wine over the course of the weekend to celebrating my Dad's birthday, it was nice to go through the weekend at a leisure pace. I was able to work on my blog and visit some other websites while sipping a homemade almond milk latte. Below are my clicks of the week. Feel free to share in the comment section below some of the links you enjoyed!
20 Questions with the blogger whose house is absolutely gorgeous
Just ordered these and cannot wait to wear them!
Preordered this cookbook and seriously counting down the days to get my hands on it!
Love this podcast and magazine!
7 Rosé Wines for Spring
Our current read for March's book club
Absolutely love this home
Things to do everyday to be happy
I think these are really pretty!
31 journal prompts